Who knew finding true love would mean juggling a secret club’s rules, rethinking marital boundaries, and a best friend you suddenly want to kiss?
Lily’s life was predictably pedestrian: side-step her husband’s aloofness, indulge in racy novels with her audacious book club, and dream about feeling that kind of passion in her own life. But a surprise run-in at a cheeky adult toy shop flings her back into the orbit of London, her endearingly rogue-ish childhood best friend, now the manager of Club Nocté—a nightclub synonymous with whispered secrets and sexy encounters.
Dazzled by the nocturnal allure of Nocté and the undeniable chemistry with London, Lily’s once-staid world gets a titillating shake-up. He’s not the boy she once built forts with, but a man with seductive depths that pull her in. And the kicker? London’s not-so-subtle feelings have the urgency of a flash sale—tempting, fleeting, and impossible to resist.
But in a world of impromptu one-night stands, it’s the long-standing emotions that prove the most scandalous. London fell first, and hard. Lily, still tethered to her crumbling marriage, finds herself torn between the nostalgic sweetness of the past and the thrilling promise of a passionate future.
Brace yourself for a joyride of giggles, gasps, and ‘oh-my-god’ moments, as Lily and London navigate a dance of friendship and flirtation, underpinned by the most tantalizing question: Will they dare to cross the line between friendship’s safety for a chance at true love?
If it wasn’t for these dirty bitches, I don’t know how I’d make it through the week. I’d probably end up one of those lonely, drunk ladies who has way too many cats and an impressive collection of yarn.
“Hey, Lil, can you flip the open sign off for me?” Tasia asks as she stumbles into the reading alcove of her adult bookstore with two dark brown folding chairs tucked under her arms. They almost look like extensions of her body since the color is nearly a perfect match to her beautiful, dark skin.
Beside me, Anna calmly sets her phone in her lap, then pushes her large-framed glasses up her face. Without missing a beat, she raises her right hand and flips the bird toward the front of the building. “Got it.”
Tasia’s expression deadpans. “Hilarious, Chang. Ever think of going into comedy?”
“I aim to please,” Anna retorts with the kind of straight face only she can manage. Maybe it’s her Korean roots showing. Or a prerequisite for being a female computer programmer. Pretty sure those ladies major in ‘Smart Ass.’
Trying to hide my smirk, I push off the small purple loveseat and stand up. “On it.”
Tasia’s dark eyes sparkle as she beams her giant smile at me and sets the first chair out. Then she turns to Anna and says, “See, that’s why she’s my BFF.”
“Kiss ass,” Anna says, pretending to sneeze as she picks her phone back up.
I laugh under my breath and weave through the bookshelves toward the front of the store.
So far, only three of us are on time—me, Tasia, and Anna. We’re waiting on Vivian, who’s notoriously late, but for some reason, it would be weird if she wasn’t.
The Dirty B’s have been meeting every Thursday night in the back of Tasia’s bookstore for the past three years. In that time, the four of us have built something I hadn’t realized I was missing in my life.
Hell, a fun group of women who like to sit around, drink wine, and talk about dirty books in a bookstore with more than enough reading material.
Best of all, they don’t care about what kinds of books I read, the ones I won’t touch, or … how I look.
That last piece has been a blessing.
It’s not always easy finding friends who can look past the slightly odd shape of my nose and the scar that tears its way from my upper lip to my left nostril.
Hell, not even my husband can seem to do that.
So, yeah, it’s been nice to be around people who see me for me and not my birth deformity.
Truth be told, it’s been eighteen years since the last time I felt like I was really seen for who I am. That was back when my best childhood friend, London, was still around.
There are times when I still can’t believe his parents forced him to move to Colorado. But that’s the way life goes, right?
People move on.
I walk over to the front door and flip the switch on the open sign. It goes dark just as the door lets out a shrill ding, announcing a newcomer.
Vivian waltzes in with a brown paper bag in her arms and a smile on her face. Her bleach blond hair is up in a messy high ponytail and she’s clad in bright pink yoga pants, paired with a black crop top that shows off her ample cleavage and midriff.
I’d be jealous of her annoyingly perky body if I didn’t know the woman it was actually attached to. I’ll keep my average weight and height, thank you very much.
“Hey, Flower,” she says with a quick wave of her free hand. Vivian is the only one who thinks calling me Flower makes more sense than Lily.
“Hey, Viv. We’re just about to get started,” I say, jabbing my left index finger toward the back of the store. “Was it your week to bring the wine?”
“Yup.” She nods and glances into the bag like she’s surprised it’s still in there.
Vivian might always be late, but her taste in wine is impeccable. Plus, as one of Duluth’s most sought-after interior designers, she has the budget to afford the good stuff.
“Sorry I’m late. I was sucking Jordan off before he left for Tahoe and the man has stamina. But I had to leave him with an impression, if you know what I mean.” She winks at me and wipes at the corner of her mouth with the tip of her middle finger like she’s cleaning up whatever he left behind.
My face heats and I suck in a quick breath.
With Vivian, you never know if she’s serious or just saying something for shock value. However, the way her hair is slightly disheveled leaves me envisioning her boyfriend’s hands groping at it as he thrusts…
I press a knuckle to my right eye socket.
She chuckles and continues through the store without elaborating further—thank god.
Carissa is all about bringing the heat in every romance she writes... but she also enjoys making the journey as angsty and awkward as possible. (Because come on! What could be more fun than making the characters squirm?)
While she’s a new kid around the rom-com block, Carissa’s actually been kicking out books for over a decade as Carissa Andrews.
So, hold onto your panties, ladies. They’re about to light on fire with her brand new titillating series, “The One Night Stand Club!”
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